The subject of my research was piano teachers in the UK; who they are, what they teach, how they teach and why they teach. Almost 600 teachers took part in a survey back in 2010 and, with their co-operation, they have allowed me to build up a picture of piano teaching in this country. Over the course of the next year or so I will be sharing the results of my research with everyone via this blog.
My research really brought home to me how important piano teachers are and how much influence we have in promoting and developing music education.
Here are 6 things that you probably didn't realise about piano teachers:
- It seems likely that there are between 35,000 - 45,000 individuals teaching the piano in the UK (although as ANYONE can teach the piano it is impossible to ascertain an exact number). Certainly every town and city boasts numerous teachers so it is possible that these are conservative numbers.
- The average number of pupils taught by teachers who responded to the Piano Survey 2010 was 22.
- So 35,000 teachers x an average of 22 pupils = 770,000 pupils. 45,000 x 22 = 990,000.
- Piano lessons are probably given by 65% of all instrumental teachers.
- In 2009 piano exams accounted for 55% of all ABRSM exams.
- Research shows that instrumental teachers (as opposed to classroom teachers) are often responsible for inspiring the next generation of musicians and teachers.
The number of teachers and the pupil average are of course only estimates and suggested numbers, but it appears likely that between three quarters of a million and a million individuals are having piano lessons at any one time!
Clearly, we have quite a responsibility between us to get this right for the next generation of musicians.
Two questions to finish with:
- Do you think piano teachers recognise what a key role they play in UK music education?
- Do you think the wider world of music education (hubs, schools etc.) recognise what a key role piano teachers play in UK music education?